The NBA’s All-Star Game Social Media Command Center

The NBA’s All-Star Game Social Media Command Center
by Tiffany Starnes

FSC Interactive partnered with the NBA All Star game to develop a social media command center during the five days of events in New Orleans. The command center was an effort to make the fan experience more interactive using social media to expand the reach of user generated content and New Orleans tourism information. Establishing a command center for larger events is an opportunity for host cities to meet the needs of attendees and is something that will become more common as event planners better understand the need for real-time communications for customer service, promotion and crisis management. Here in New Orleans, we see it as the social media version of Southern hospitality.Here’s what a social media command center should include:

Monitoring & Community Management

FSC developed streams using HootSuite to monitor for relevant conversations and keywords, including NBA hashtags, lists of celebrities, sponsors, media and players. Through this monitoring, we were able to find influencers, like Ludacris, talking about the game:



We also were able to share the positive feedback we received:


The unglamorous part of monitoring is finding the issues that are happening and escalating them to the proper resources. We created a logistics/traffic stream that wasn’t looking very pretty during Friday rush hour as fans came in and city workers were driving home. This information was shared with city officials and is now a learning opportunity to better segment traffic and street closures.

Content Creation

Before stepping into the seats at the command center, it’s important to craft a content schedule that addresses messaging that should be pushed from the account. Scheduling these posts will free up time to respond, engage and monitor. This is also an opportunity to align goals with the event host and sponsors and cross-promote. For example, Both NBA All Stars and the NBA Twitter handles sent out a post prompting visitors to use the #asknola hashtag or follow @visitneworleans, per our goals to provide excellent customer service. This was retweeted 59 times and favorited 60 times.



Offline Promotion

To make the social media command center a true success, it should be integrated into all event promotions and PR. It’s important to empower volunteers on the street with talking points to encourage visitors to use certain social networks or hashtags. Likewise, give media the information they need to best tell the story and spread the word.

Live Event Coverage

The greatest opportunity to engage fans and visitors is to provide on the ground and behind the scenes content. By posting images from events throughout the city, we saw an incredible increase in interaction. As you can see below, engagement on Twitter and Instagram was up by triple digits.


Let your visitors and fans know how much you enjoyed hosting them. Post some follow-up content that highlights the best of the event. Here’s a Flipagram created with some of our favorite photos from NBA All Star weekend:



Do you regularly use hashtags or handles when attending events? Please share best practices you have come across and what you would like to see host cities or companies provide on social media during events.

Tiffany Starnes is Vice President of FSC Interactive, a New Orleans-based online marketing agency focusing on social media and search, with attention on custom creative content. Follow FSC on Twitter @fscinteractive for online marketing  updates with an extra dose of Southern sass.